Posts Tagged: "justice scalia"

Will Vacancy Caused by Passing of Justice Scalia Put US Supreme Court in a Pinch on IP Matters?

Justice Scalia never hid the fact that patent law was his “blind spot”. He also admitted to often taking his cues on IP issues from his colleague Justice Ginsberg. On a Court that has not been kind to patent owners these past years, Justice Scalia, who never feared a bit of controversy, was generally considered as a “staunch defender of patent rights” (as long as they were valid) and viewed them, rightly so, as property. On the other hand, he is also the first Supreme Court Justice to refer explicitly to “patent trolls” (in the Commil case), and not in a good way… He also famously called out the Federal Circuit jurisprudence on obviousness as “gobbledygook.” Google it; it is not exactly a compliment!

President Obama should nominate Judge Raymond Chen to the Supreme Court

Chen, an Obama appointee, was confirmed only several years ago by a vote of 97-0. Born in 1968 he is 47 years old, meaning he could easily serve on the Court throughout the next generation, in modern times an important consideration for a Presidential nomination to the High Court. Chen also comes from the Federal Circuit, which is anything but politically controversial, primarily responsible for handling patent appeals. Chen would also become the first Asian American to serve on the Supreme Court, another potentially important consideration for President Obama, who has shown throughout his term in Office that he likes breaking glass ceilings with appointments and nominations. Thus, Chen would have virtually all the same upside as would Srinavasan without any of the baggage that would make confirmation difficult, if not impossible.

What the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia means for SCOTUS patent jurisprudence

While Justice Scalia served on the Supreme Court for nearly three decades, his contributions to the area of intellectual property law were quite limited. Scalia did famously refer to patents as “gobbledegook” during the KSR v. Teleflex oral arguments. Scalia was the only Justice not to sign onto an opinion in Bilski v. Kappos that would have recognized that at least some software is patent eligible. But Justice Scalia did not author any of the major patent decisions considered by the Court during his tenure. The passing of Justice Scalia does not seem likely have much of an impact on intellectual property cases, particularly patent cases. Having said this, I could see legislative history becoming more relevant than anyone would have anticipated just a week ago when the Supreme Court considers Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee.

Confusion Preclusion: SCOTUS Says TTAB Has Preclusive Effect

There was a split in the circuit courts as to what effect a TTAB decision will have, and this depends heavily upon where the litigation is happening. The weight of a TTAB decision will vary depending on the jurisdiction, ranging from none at all to complete preclusion. Here, the issue was whether one mark was confusingly similar to another, which the Supreme Court determined was exactly the same as what was being litigated.

Missed Opportunities for Alice, Software at the Supreme Court

It seems undeniable that Alice missed many opportunities to score easy points. Indirect arguments were made by Alice that didn’t seem very persuasive. Indeed, if one is to predict the outcome of the case based on oral arguments alone it did not go well for Alice today. Only three things give Alice supporters hope after this oral argument as far as I can tell. First, the government seems to be asking the Supreme Court to overrule precedent in Bilski that is not even four years old, which simply isn’t going to happen. Second, the egregious overreach and outright misleading nature of the CLS Bank argument should raise a legitimate question or two in the mind of the Justices. Third, the reality simply is that at least the systems claims recite numerous specific, tangible elements such that it should be impossible to in any intellectually honest way find those claims to cover an abstract idea.

Supremes Say Reverse Payments May Be Antitrust Violation

On Monday, June 17, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision on so-called “reverse payments.” This decision will impact how brand name drug companies and generics enter into patent settlements to resolve pending patent litigation. In a nutshell, speaking for the majority, Justice Breyer wrote that there is no valid reason for the FTC to be denied the opportunity to pursue reverse payments as an antitrust violation. Breyer, who was joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsberg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, determined that reviewing courts should apply the rule of reason when determining whether reverse payments violate antitrust law.

Supreme Court Hears Myriad Gene Patent Challenge

If cDNA is patent eligible subject matter, as it seems likely based on the tone of the oral argument, that should be very good news for Myriad. As Justice Breyer recognized during questioning of Mr. Hansen (representing AMP), the Myriad claim says they want “the isolated DNA of claim 1 wherein said DNA has the nucleotide sequence set forth in SEQ ID No. 1.” If you look at SEQ ID No. 1 clearly states that the molecule type is cDNA, thus cDNA seems to be a part of the claim, not to mention that the cDNA used by Myriad was a consensus sequence made from hundreds of different patients. Thus, if cDNA is patent eligible then the Supreme Court must find that at least some genes are patent eligible and must also find the Myriad claims patent eligible. Whether the Supreme Court Justices really captured that nuance remains in doubt. It seemed at times that Justices Sotomayor and Kagan were openly arguing the AMP/ACLU case. Sadly, at times it was apparent that the Supreme Court doesn’t understand even the most basic and fundamental patent law concepts.

Argument Summary: Supreme Court Hears Bowman v. Monsanto

While one can never know for certain how the Supreme Court will rule, even a casual observer has to conclude that the Supreme Court seems poised rule in favor of Monsanto. Seconds after Bowman’s attorney started Chief Justice Roberts interrupted asking why anyone would ever patent anything if Bowman were to prevail. Shortly thereafter Justice Breyer openly concluded that Bowman infringed in a matter of fact way. It later may have seemed Breyer was probing for a response he didn’t get more so than announcing his view of the case. Nevertheless, if Bowman loses Breyer he has no chance.

Musings on Justice Scalia and the Hard, Dull Patent Cases

Just over one week ago Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court was interviewed by Piers Morgan of CNN. See Scalia transcript.  During the interview Justice Scalia said that the hardest decision he has had to make in his time on the Supreme Court was in a patent case. I received a few responses from those who did not opine as to what case Justice Scalia might be referring to, but rather commented generally about the interview and what Justice Scalia said relative to patent cases being difficult, dull and insignificant.  What follows below are those musings from industry insiders.

Justice Scalia: Hardest Decision “Probably a Patent Case”

One week ago, on July 18, 2012, Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court sat down for an interview with Piers Morgan of CNN. See Scalia interview transcript. During the interview Morgan asked Scalia what his hardest decision has been while on the Supreme Court. I thought it might be fun to ask some industry insiders what their guess was as to the unnamed case Justice Scalia was thinking of as the “hardest decision.” Some of those I asked didn’t offer a guess, but rather took the opportunity to discuss the aforementioned Scalia statements more generally. Those “musings” will be published tomorrow.

Supreme Court Tackles §101 in Mayo v. Prometheus

This was a very interesting discussion, although I was surprised at how little Bilski was mentioned. Although the hearing did digress on some tangents, the Justices’ questioning was generally on point and indicative of the difficult questions a case like this presents. Surely, the Court will be thinking of the impact a decision might have on the healthcare industry, as well as the information technology industry. Also, Justices are no doubt aware of other pending cases which may find their way to the Supreme Court, such as AMP v. USPTO, Classen v. Biogen, and the divided infringement cases of McKesson and Akamai. I will leave the reader to reach their own conclusions, but my best guess is that the Court is leaning toward the position that §101 should be a coarse filter and that §102 and §103 would be more appropriate to challenge the validity of the claims in this case. We will learn the answer in the spring.

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Mayo v. Prometheus

All in all it seemed to me that the majority of the court seemed more skeptical about the Mayo position and more supportive of the Prometheus position. That being said, it is extremely troubling to contemplate the possibility that Chief Justice Roberts was more in tune with the thinking of Justice Breyer. It is also disheartening to see such a fundamental misunderstanding of patent law on the part of the Chief Justice. At the end of the day the Justices of the Supreme Court will say what the law is on this issue, but sometimes it is hard to imagine a less qualified bunch to opine on a patent issue.

Supreme Court Affirms CAFC in Stanford v. Roche on Bayh-Dole

At issue in the case, essentially, was whether the extraordinarily successful Bayh-Dole legislation (enacted in 1980) automatically vested ownership of patent rights in Universities when the underlying research was federally funded. In a blow to the convention wisdom of Supreme Court patent-watchers, the Supreme Court actually affirmed the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Unlike some recent decisions where the result of the Federal Circuit was affirmed but a wholly new test announced, the Supreme Court simply concluded: “The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is affirmed.” Perhaps even more surprising, the Supreme Court seems to have objectively reached the correct conclusion.

Microsoft i4i Oral Arguments Complete at Supreme Court

Hungar would go on to say that the clear and convincing standard “makes no sense,” which nearly immediately drew the first comment from the bench with Justice Ginsburg saying that it would be difficult to say the standard makes no sense when it was supported by Justice Cardozo and Judge Rich. Ginsberg would later, in a nearly annoyed way, say “then you have to be saying that Judge Rich got it wrong…” Hungar cut off Justice Ginsburg, not typically a wise move.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Costco Copyright Case

The dispute arose because Omega, S.A., sought to prevent the petitioner, Costco Wholesale Corporation, from reselling genuine watches originally sold by Omega to authorized foreign distributors. Omega, a Swiss company that manufactures watches in Switzerland, did not authorize the importation of the watches by Costco, despite the fact that Costco legally purchased the watches abroad. Thus, the question in this case will be whether copyrighted materials made abroad and legally purchased abroad can be imported without the express permission of the copyright owner. In other words, does the first sale doctrine extinguish the rights of the copyright holder when the goods are made abroad and sold abroad.


Warning: Undefined array key "prefix" in /www/ipwatchdogcom_574/public/wp-content/themes/ipwatchdog/parts/archives/paging.php on line 24

Varsity Sponsors


Warning: Undefined array key "tag" in /www/ipwatchdogcom_574/public/wp-content/themes/ipwatchdog/lib-2021/widgets/views/latest-posts.php on line 10

Junior Varsity Sponsors

From IPWatchdog